If you want to do your best work, and have the best time, you have to be the best version of yourself. Consistently, prolifically; the best you. That includes over the long term and the short term. It includes quickly spotting when you’re feeling down and being able to put yourself in a better frame of mind, fast.
Here are 6 powerful ways to be a better version of yourself.
Do less but better
If you’re spending your time chasing multiple goals, wearing multiple hats and fulfilling multiple obligations, you’ll certainly be busy but you might not get anywhere. Deliberate and concerted efforts in one direction is how to achieve great things. Directing your energy into multiple projects will mean it is divided.
Find focus. Find a way to say no to some of the things you’re doing, in favour of doing less but doing it better. Train and trust others to take over or remove specific obligations all together. Breathe a sigh of relief and free up space to give your all to fewer things.
It’s the title of a song by HONNE and it’s sterling advice. Smile more. When you smile you signal happiness to your brain, so it starts acting like it’s happy. Smiling tricks your mind into a sunnier disposition. You look nicer, you seem more approachable, people gravitate towards you. You might suddenly realise you’re progressing more effortlessly than before.
Smiling implies relaxation, happiness and positive vibes and it can work powerfully alongside assertiveness and decisiveness. Smile at your team, smile at your family, smile in the mirror. Smile at the world, and the world smiles back.
Keep a journal
Life is short, so keep a log. Pick up a journaling habit to be a better you. Develop a heightened sense of awareness as to how you’re feeling and what’s going on. Glean trends and make strategies for direction. Look back over last year’s entries and marvel at how much you’ve changed. It doesn’t matter what you write, it matters that you do it.
Dance like no one is watching and journal like no one will read it. Because they won’t. Communicating thoughts to hand to pen to paper means making sense of the muddled words into your head and writing your own story. For each day you narrate, you choose how to remember it. The version on the page will speak volumes about how to be better.
Ask better questions
Better questions lead to better answers and result in a better you. Instead of, “Why can’t I do this?”, ask, “What would it feel like if I could do this.” One focuses on the problem and one goes to the solution. Instead of, “Why is this a really bad situation?”, ask, “What’s great about this?” Keep asking better question after better question until you find better answers.
Asking better questions of yourself is one thing, but replicate it in your conversations, too. Starting with “how” is often more conducive to an answer than “why”, which can lead to excuses and defensiveness. One looks back, one looks forward. Choose your questions wisely, because they are the root of your conversations and therefore your day and your year.
Guard what you let in
Someone else’s opinion is exactly that. Yet it’s easy to take it to heart and internalise the words. You could find yourself making decisions based on that opinion you heard. It could change who you are and what you do. Each individual operates from their unique view of the world. It’s based on their childhood, outlook and disposition and it’s heavily biased.
Apply a filter and carefully guard what you accept as truth. Question things. This isn’t about being confrontational or hard work, it’s about refusing to take limiting beliefs and specific world views at face value. Start a debate or nod along, it’s up to you. But create some space between it and your mind.
Be honest with yourself
There are likely people, places and things that you see, visit and own that don’t serve the best version of you. It’s situations you have outgrown and only do for the nostalgia, or it’s ways you spend your time that you just don’t want to. Maybe you’ve assigned meaning to something that means it remains in your present when it belongs in the past.
Sound familiar? Make a list and make a change. Be honest with yourself. Dig into the uncomfortable decisions and move forward. Picture the words above your gravestone being, “would have achieved loads but x, y and z got in the way.” Find out what x, y and z are and remove them to become a better you.
From The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield, “Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us.” Which life are you living, and how can you fulfil the highest expression of what is within you? Baby steps in the right direction turn you into a better version of yourself, ready to smash through ceilings and take on the world.